I’ve read all of Emily Giffin’s novels, pretty much out of habit. Her writing usually centers around various struggles and obstacles people can face in their relationships. The first two I enjoyed, the following two were just okay. Nevertheless, when her latest novel Heart of the Matter came out I immediately joined the library’s waiting list. I was still reluctant to read when I received it, because of my indifference to her last few books but was forced to comply to the 14 day loan looming over my head! I was pleasantly surprised.
In this story Giffin takes the point of view of two different women in Wellesley, Massachusetts alternating by chapter. Tessa is married to Nick, a successful pediatric plastic surgeon, while Valerie is the mother of one of his patients. After an accident brings Valerie to the hospital one evening, all of their lives are changed in multiple ways. What unfolds is a story of love, loneliness, betrayal, marriage and forgiveness. As a reader I found myself sympathetic to both women and their situations in life, while also comending Giffin for writing with such clarity and creating authentically realistic, likable characters.
Throughout the novel I found myself wishing if Nick’s point of view was also given to the readers. However in the end I realized that ultimately it was a story about these two women and their personal struggles and a third point of view probably would have taken the focus off of them. Heart of the Matter genuinely got me thinking about the complexities of different romantic relationships, motherhood, loss and forgiveness. I look forward to the next novel Giffin writes this time with no apprehension!